Friends, families and expats come together at Paute’s Carnaval parade

Feb 14, 2024 | 0 comments

One of the many pleasures of living near Paute is the heartfelt encouragement the city’s Office of the Mayor offers to participate in the many celebrations that sugar-coat the calendar. This generosity of spirit encourages those who might otherwise feel left behind to experience the liberating joy of expressing one’s personal identity while uniting with the neighbors.

El Carnaval de Paute is a perfect example of the joy many divergent communities have when joining a parade of activities that honors and celebrates unity. Country folk from the highlands, ‘townies from near-by urban centers, expats who found a home here, and visitors from around the world join hands each year in February to celebrate their faith in one another, and optimism in a future defined by renewal and exuberance for fun.

And, what fun it is! Overlooking the festivities is a massive Ferris wheel decked out in green, yellow, red, and blue lights that we can see from our home many miles away. Bands are gleefully playing everything from reggaeton to Andean panpipes in the park; food stalls line the roadways and park borders. Everyone everywhere is getting soaked and sprayed – cleansed and rinsed clean in preparation for Lent.

Fortunately, I remembered my camera, and got into town early enough to photograph some of the celebrants, many knots of families lining the street just as they do every year, and a few people who were working just as they do every single day.

I suppose a few may be ready for life to “get back to normal”, but this is normal. People are celebrating life…or trying to.

As for me, I am patiently waiting for the next parade of people carrying good news of faraway lands, tales of strong hearts forged in Paute and, of course, a lively battalion of folks proudly carrying their crests, marching our way and determined to join us in having fun together.

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